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Showing posts from February, 2018

Summing Up 2017, Winter Notes and Spring 2018 Just Around the Corner

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This summary is way overdue. Better late than never.

The kestrels here in Ulster County had a seemingly rough time of it in 2017. Lots of starlings in this area create stiff competition for nest boxes, which are premium nesting sites for cavity-nesting birds. The rich habitat and abundant nest sites (boxes) at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR create an ideal situation for breeding kestrels. As in 2016, all 6 boxes at the refuge were occupied in 2017. While last year saw all 6 pairs raise successful broods, only three pairs were successful this year. Birds fared even worse at other monitored boxes in the county, with only 3 pairs pulling off young out of 18 boxes. Anyway, here are some statistics from the 2017 Breeding Season.

2017 Productivity


- Kestrels occupied 17 boxes out of 24 total -  71% Occupancy, which is pretty good.
- Only 6 boxes were successful (3 at Shawangunk Grasslands, 3 elsewhere in the county).*
- A total of 61 eggs were laid spread over 13 of the occupied boxes. Average c…